POLITICS: Don’t let selfish Lia Thomas ruin the Olympics for women
Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas is lawyering up, seeking to coerce the Olympic governing body for swimming — which operates in the dark, behind closed doors — to accept biological males competing against females.
It’s unfair, unscientific and the height of selfishness. Thomas couldn’t care less about women’s rights.
Thomas reportedly retained Tyr, a Canadian law firm with a track record of bringing these types of suits, to demand the Court of Arbitration for Sport reverse the World Aquatics’ ban of anyone who experienced “any part of male puberty” from competing against females.
Before June 2022, transgender swimmers could previously compete if they reduced their testosterone levels.
The 24-year-old Thomas, formerly named Will Thomas, previously swam for the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s team for three years.
Thomas was decent, but far from outstanding in that male division.
For example, in November 2021, Thomas would have placed 14th if competing among men in the 100-yard freestyle.
Yet after moving to the female team, competing against my Independent Women’s Forum colleagues Riley Gaines and Paula Scanlan, Thomas became the first openly trans person to win an NCAA Division I title.
“It’s been a goal of mine to swim at Olympic trials for a very long time, and I would love to see that through,” Thomas told “Good Morning America” less than a month before World Aquatics changed its policy.
Tyr labels its staff “fearless advocates” litigating “high-stakes and precedent-setting cases.”
What should worry people who care about transparency, sunshine and accountability is that cases brought before the CAS are privately argued — unless those involved agree to publicize them, the Telegraph reported.
That means Thomas, Tyr & co. could pull shameful tactics and bully the governing body into what’s wrong and unscientific.
Does science support Thomas’ “goal” to unfairly steal competitive swimming slots meant for women?
A review of the scientific literature by my colleagues at Independent Women’s Law Center illustrates the undeniable physical evidence that men have bigger lungs and bigger hearts than women.
This translates to greater aerobic lung capacity for swimming (and other sports).
Males also have larger skeletal structures than females (including wingspans-critical in swimming), something that testosterone blockers can’t significantly alter.
The IWLC literature review also shows that while hormone therapy can affect some characteristics like muscle size and strength in biological males, it will not reduce them to female levels.
What about public opinion?
Americans overwhelmingly say allowing men to compete in women’s support is wrong.
Gallup polling released in June found 69% of Americans (including 67% of independents) believe transgender athletes should compete in sports that match their birth sex.
In America, Thomas claims to fight for inclusion, but my colleague Jennifer C. Braceras, a former member of the US Commission on Civil Rights, explains, US policies advocated by people like Thomas could be illegal under Title IX, the law passed by Congress 51 years ago to increase educational opportunities for women and girls.
Title IX requires schools receiving federal money to “provide equal athletic opportunity for members of both sexes,” and allows the operation of single-sex classes or extracurricular activities.
To save women’s sports, we need to preserve hard-fought victories to recognize biological females as a distinct category from biological males.
Olympic swimming is a zero-sum competition, where someone wins and others do not — at least for now (until the politically correct crowd ruins it by giving universal participation trophies).
Let’s not erase women. At IWF, we welcome anyone and everyone to sign our petition to demand rules that protect fair play and to share their story about being, parenting, coaching or cheering a female athlete.
Support for letting athletes born male to compete with those born as women seems to be falling: Only 26% of Gallup responders last year said trans athletes should be allowed to play on sports teams matching their “gender identity,” down from 34% in 2021.
The more Americans learn about the fundamental discrimination — and in some cases danger of physical injury — of men competing in women’s sports, the more they shift in the right direction: toward fairness.
Let’s hope the Olympic Committee holds fast to right thinking.